Pitchvision Academy


With a glittering award ceremony coming up on 26th July, it's time to nominate your coach as coach of the year! See the article below for details then get your nominations in fast.

Plus there are tips for kids cricket, off side hitting, playing as a unit and - that classic topic - how to bowl faster.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Nominate Your Coach of the Year by 18th July!

Who's your coach of the year?

PitchVision is proud to present the 2016 Coach of the Year Awards. This year, we want you to nominate the coach you think deserves recognition. It'syour chance to show love to someone with great coaching skills!


Last year at the glittering award ceremony in South Africa, it was Ikgomotseng Mothoa - doing amazing work in townships to grow the game - who won the prize.



Now is your chance to give the limelight to your favourite coach. It can be someone who has helped you or your club personally, or someone your admire from afar. It can be someone working for a worthy cause or someone who is innovate, inspiring and getting results. Basically, any coach who is doing a great job.

How do your nominate your coach of the year?

Email coach@pitchvision.com with the name and country of your coach (before Monday 18th July 2016).

If you want to add a reason why you think your coach is worth nominating, then feel free. We will be back in touch to find out a little more either way.

The big ceremony this year is on 26th July 2016. The winners from each country will be announced and awards will be given out. It's PitchVision's way of recognising the mazing work done by cricket coaches around the world!

So, don't delay, get your nominations for your coach of the year to coach@pitchvision.com

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Kids Cricket Games: Team Non-Stop Cricket

Here's a fun cricket batting and fielding game for kids (of all ages). It's high-energy with lots of activity.

The batting team can work on running, hitting and teamwork. The fielders can stop, catch and throw.


If you can't see the video above, click here.

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The Shoebox Approach to Spectacular Off Side Hitting

When a player moves slightly legside and eases the ball over extra cover for four or six it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It looks great.

But it's often messed up through ignorance. So let's put that right.


It's a part of the game that is now so important as the regulations in T20 and ODI cricket mean that for parts of each format, seamers are now having to bowl with limited off-side boundary riders.

Deep cover and deep mid-off are often left unpatrolled which entices batters to run leg side with their movement and offside with their aim. As with all skills, there are some technical basics that need to be adhered to in order to give yourself the best chance of success.

Case Study: England vs Sri Lanka

It was interesting to see some of these basics being ignored in the IT20 at the Ageas Bowl as England chased down a low Sri Lankan target of 140. Jos Buttler was (rightly) promoted to open the innings in the games shortest format: You only have 120 balls in total so it's vital that the best players should face the most balls.

Jos tried to take advantage of Angelo Matthews lack of off-side boundary riders and moved outside leg only to bottom edge it into the keepers gloves. The finger stayed down, no DRS and Jos's face looked as guilty as a kid who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar!

Jos repeated the movement again an over later. This time he missed completely.

James Vince followed suit and missed again. Vince's ultimate demise followed a similar pattern. Moving way outside leg stump, getting tangled and eventually, stumped!

Now, Jos went on to win the match with 73* off 49 balls - he is brilliant after all - but both he and James Vince could have both benefited from a coaching aid that is so simple it makes me laugh every time I use it.

The shoe box approach

I have used a shoe box both literally and figuratively in my coaching for years when coaching lateral movement around the crease.

It first started with my frustrations around Matt Prior's lack of transferability from excellent, attacking Test Match player (ave. 40.18) into a poor ODI opening batter (ave. 24.18). Matt was so much better than that and could have made a huge difference to England's ODI team if he had found a way of converting his awesome Test match off side game into the shorter format.

The basic principle is that a player only needs to get away from the stumps by the width of a shoe box in order to hit an off stump ball (or straighter delivery) over or through the off side.

Any bigger distance then you end up stretching to reach the ball.

Stability, balance and control are compromised and this increases the likelihood of either edging it or missing it entirely as Vince and Buttler did this week.

Flat discs and calibration

The 'flat discs' that are in most coaches kit bags are great for recreating a 'shoe-box' shape around the crease.

The player and coach can then calibrate movements based on this shape on the ground.

Whilst calibrating, the coach and player can be monitoring effectiveness. As all players are different (lever length, preference of ball contact point), one players 'shoebox' could become the width of the stumps whereas another players 'shoebox' could start on middle stump and end 2 inches outside leg-stump.

In recent years, this second alignment - middle to outside leg - has worked brilliantly, especially off the back foot to spinners with no deep cover, for both Kevin Pietersen and Gloucestershire CCC middle order batter, George Hankins. Both have the game to hit the ball over the in-field with a straight bat for four.

The shoebox is a great foundation builder as it lets batters explore their own limits within a framework.

The shoebox can move a little (as with Pietersen and Hankins) but the framework prevents batters from escaping too far legside and making the same mistakes as Jos and James did the other night.

Jos got lucky on Tuesday night and I hope it kickstarts his opening batting career in IT20's.

Both Jos and the players you coach could take luck out of the equation by using the 'shoebox' approach to offside hitting.

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Playing as a Unit: How to Use a Cricket Cliche to Improve your Cricket Team

International players and coached these days are always going on about how they “performed as a unit” – fielded, batted, bowled.

Lurking in the depths of this moribund press talk is a grain of truth we can use at any level.

Six Proven Ways to Bowl Faster


We all feel the need.


About PitchVision Academy

Welcome to this week's guide to playing and coaching better cricket.

I'm David Hinchliffe and I'm Director of the PitchVision Academy team. With this newsletter you are benefitting directly from over 25 Academy coaches. Our skills include international runs and wickets, first-class coaching, cutting-edge research and real-life playing experience.


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Issue: 419
Date: 2016-07-08